As the cost of attending colleges and universities continually rises, more and more people seek out tuition assistance through a student loan. These loans usually take decades to repay, so finding options with low interest rates will save money over the life of the loan. There are a few ways to go when searching for a low interest student loan, including government assistance, banks or student loan companies.
The most common place to find a low interest student loan is by researching what your government offers prospective students. Most countries that provide opportunities for financial assistance have an application process. For example, the United States has the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). This form requests precise financial information to determine how much money you qualify for from the government. Questions include how much money each parent makes, their stocks and assets and the family's expected contribution toward school.
Based on the family's financial ability to assist with tuition, students will get a series of options for an undergraduate loan. In the U.S., for example, there are two main types of low interest student loans: Stafford loans and Perkins loans. Each one provides low interest rates, but the amount given to the student differs widely depending on the FAFSA information.
Many times, government loan money is not enough to cover college expenses, and a private low interest student loan must be sought. Some private institutions that many students count on for low interest student loans are companies that specialize in providing student loans. Like banks, these are lending institutions, but they specifically help students pay for college. In most countries, there are many companies to choose from, and most of them post current interest rates on their website. In order to acquire a low interest student loan, you must compare as many rates as possible and select the best one before applying for the loan.
Going to a bank and applying for a loan is another method of acquiring money for college. This is a less traditional option than the other methods, but with extensive research, it could secure you a low interest rate. Some banks have loans specifically for students, and others simply offer a general loan. Unless you have a sizable income, many students will need a parent or guardian to act as a cosigner before being awarded a low interest student loan.